I have to call bullshit on this one. In my experience, saying “you only live once” (a.k.a “YOLO”) has to be one of the most widely used beliefs for people to justify poor eating decisions.
I do want to clarify, I am referring to the poor decisions people make with only food and I am well aware that when it comes to eating there are many reasons why people make poor decisions. I am solely going to be talking about those who make poor food choices that use this belief to justify them.
I am also speaking on those who use this statement as their crutch to repeatedly justify their decisions, not the one-offs who do it once a month. For those people, it is much more empowering to say you made a decision to eat that shitty food because “you wanted to” since this would accept responsibility.
I call BS
I am eternally grateful that this is one BS belief I never bought into, it just never made sense to me. It is a belief that completely strips all your power away as you cry victim to only living once (even that is up for debate by some).
Because so many people fall into this belief and share the same commonality, I find it humorous to observe people’s responses when I neglect to agree with them on their statement that “you only live once” and in turn I ask “and do you prefer to live that one life shorter or longer? I mean…you only live once right?”.
The main point I am aiming to convey here is that justifying knowingly poor choices by saying “you only live once” is self-victimizing and does not serve you. To take it one step further,
I think it is a cop-out for not taking responsibility for poor decisions by trying to justify them.
Living Once…Shorter or Longer? The Choice is Yours
I don’t know about you, but I prefer to live longer based on the choices I make, not shorter. If you prefer the latter then I would be tempted to question how much you value your life? By repeatedly adhering to this disempowering belief you are actually making your life shorter.
Making choices that are known to potentially shorten one’s life may lead one to wonder why someone would do such a thing? I know for myself, I have always been curious as to why someone would take that risk.
In my opinion, it all comes down to how much one values their life and their need for instant gratification.
The Need For Instant Gratification
If someone eats those 2 cookies every night after dinner, eats out on weekends, or drinks that sugar-filled latte every day while knowing that the cumulative effects have a high probability of shortening their life must make them wonder why they would do such a thing. I find this is an area that many fear to explore due to discovering facing the truth behind the lie.
If one is lacking gratification in their life, then adding food as a source of instant gratification to their life at the cost of potentially shortening their life seems to make sense. Basically, what is being conveyed here is
“I would rather live a shorter life filled with some gratification then life a longer life that lacks the same gratification”
If you are one to seek instant gratification from food, it is potentially life-saving to explore how you can add more sustainable sources of gratification in your life that will actually serve you living longer and feeling better.
It is very clear to see how much one values their life by observing their decisions. Eating those 2 cookies every night (or every other night) because “you only live once” really speaks to the value they place on their life.
One who repeatedly makes decisions to eat food that has a high probability of shortening their life seems to neglect the value of making decisions that have a high probability of extending their life.
Our decisions are always in alignment with our thoughts. Therefore, if one thinks that their life has little value then they will treat it as such by making decisions that support a life that they deem has little value.
If you happen to be one of those people who use the statement “you only live once” to justify your poor food choices, it is completely understandable if you resist facing the truth behind the lie. It does not mean there is something wrong with you or that you’re any less of a person than anyone else.
All it means is that you innocently believed a lie that has not served you up to this point in your life and you now have the opportunity to empower yourself by consciously choosing a belief that will serve you living a longer life.
Know someone who says “you only live once” to justify poor food choices? Share this with them.
What is your opinion on YOLO?